Gender equality and empowerment of adolescent girls must remain paramount at this year’s Commission on the Status of Women

Advocates for Youth welcomes the theme of the sixty-second session of the Commission on the Status of Women (“CSW62”). This year’s theme centers the empowerment of rural women and girls and the challenges and opportunities that they face in achieving gender equality. In our submission to the United Nations, we call on all governments to ensure that adolescent girls and young women in rural settings live in environments where they can attend school, access sexual and reproductive health services, and benefit from in or out-of-school comprehensive sexuality education free from stigma, discrimination, and violence.

Recognizing that there are approximately 1.2 billion young people in the world, which comprise of more than 600 million adolescents girls, we focus on three critical issues in our statement: ensuring comprehensive sexuality education; addressing health disparities; and eliminating gender-based violence. Taking these actions will significantly contribute to the achievement of gender equality of young people and the advancement of adolescent girls’ rights.


Advocates for Youth also joined several organizations—one spearheaded by the Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (YCSRR), the other by Ipas—to take an intersectional and human rights-based approach to achieving gender equality and empowerment of adolescent girls and young women. In noting critical gaps, it was important to draw attention to challenges in accessing health services and quality of education, as well as challenges for rural queer and transgender youth including heightened discrimination, victimization, and social isolation.

From March 12-16, Advocates’ staff and young women activists from its International Youth Leadership Council will be participating in the CSW62 in New York City where we will have the opportunity to work in coalition with other activists to hold governments accountable to prioritizing adolescent girls’ and young women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights. We will also host a side event on rural women and girls in collaboration with colleague organizations Women Deliver and Pathfinder International during which we will feature Advocates’ work with adolescent girls in rural Burkina Faso, with the hopes of presenting an oral statement addressing these important issues.

Please visit here for our written statement addressing the importance of making gender equality and empowerment of rural adolescent girls and young women a reality by 2030.